Sudbury’s own women’s barbershop chorus, Nickel City Sound, has released a recording of “We Rise Again” as a thank you to front-line workers who have stayed at their posts during the pandemic for the past 18 months.
The song, written by Sydney, Nova Scotia songwriter Leon Dubinsky in 1984, was made famous by the Nova Scotia musical family group The Rankin Family.
It’s an anthem of resilience and hope at a time when Cape Breton Island was going through an economic crisis.
Martha Walli, co-director of Nickel City Sound alongside Jennifer Huss, said she thinks that uplifting message of resilience fits well in the context of the pandemic.
“Essential workers have to be extremely resilient,” she said. “They’ve been the front line of keeping people going, keeping our economy going, keeping us healthy and happy.
“‘We Rise Again’ is sort of a message of encouragement for them. Even though it’s been a struggle, we know things will get better, and thank you for everything you’ve done to take us through this.”
Members of Nickel City Sound also submitted video clips of essential workers that they know to be included as part of the video.
You can view their version of the song below:
The 39 ladies who are a part of Nickel City Sound have had to show their share of resilience themselves during the pandemic.
Because group singing is a high-risk activity for the spread of COVID-19, they’ve been holding their practices mostly via Zoom for 18 months. They’ve also experimented with drive-in radio rehearsals using a cheap transmitter as well as outdoor rehearsals.
Their version of “We Rise Again” was actually recorded separately by all of the members of the group in their homes, and then reassembled digitally to get the full chorus sound.
Nickel City Sound has actually recorded several songs in this manner, which are available on the group’s YouTube channel.
“We’ve been doing virtual projects since COVID began and Zoom rehearsals,” Walli said.
“It’s been really fun to get our voices back together, and we’ve learned different things about how to sing into our cell phones
“We’ve also learned a lot about technology, how to upload our audio and how to get the best recording. Many people re-recorded themselves multiple times. Even though we haven’t been able to sing together, we’ve been able to put our voices together.”
Nickel City Sound always welcomes new members. It holds practices over Zoom from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. You’re welcome to join the group for a visit to see if it’s for you. Learn more on the group’s website.
Editor’s note: This article is part of a series called New Music Mondays, where we feature new music by musicians from the Greater Sudbury area on Mondays. If you’re an area musician and would like us to profile your work, email us at email@example.com.